Health Direct - Summer 2019 - 14

IN THE COMMUNITY

Securing Our

Future
Workforce
With healthcare job vacancies high,
programs aim to help maintain staffing
By John Berggren

S

alina Regional Health Center
is investing millions of dollars
to ensure staffing levels continue to meet growing patient needs in
the region.
"There's a huge demand for healthcare workers," says Annette Suppes,
human resources director at Salina
Regional. "We've implemented or
strengthened several programs to support those interested in entering or
advancing in the field of healthcare."

Student loan forgiveness
It's common for graduates to finish college with a pile of student loan debt.
Salina Regional Health Center offers
a student loan forgiveness
program for positions in
high demand. New hires
can access either a
three-year or five-year
service agreement
that pays $250
or $300 per
month up
to a total of
$9,000 or

$18,000. Over the last 10 years, more
than 300 employees have taken advantage of this program that has paid more
than $2.8 million in student loans.
Cameron Atwill, a pharmacist who
joined Salina Regional in 2017, signed
on for a five-year commitment.
"I became aware of the program
early on in the recruitment process,
and it made Salina's offer very competitive," Atwill says. "When you look at all
the debt you accumulate going through
school, this really helps."

Tuition reimbursement
Employees interested in continuing their education with a hospitalrelated advanced degree also can
access financial assistance. Salina

14

srhc.com

The Foundation and Salina Regional
Service Auxiliary's scholarship program for students seeking a degree in
a healthcare-related field of study was
revitalized last year with additional
funding. Nursing students seeking
an associate's degree in nursing or a
bachelor's degree in nursing can now
receive scholarships of up to $10,000
per year with a tie of service contract.
Last year, $211,400 was given in scholarships to 39 students. 1

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about these recruitment programs,
benefits, job openings and more.

Scholarship assistance

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Regional offers employees 100 percent of tuition reimbursement, up to
$5,250 per year. Many workers take
advantage of the program to advance
from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree or from a bachelor's to
a master's degree. Over the last 10
years, 639 staff members have taken
advantage of this program, which has
paid out more than $1.56 million in
tuition reimbursement.
Tina Hill, education coordinator at
Salina Regional, is using the program
to earn a master's in nursing.
"A master's degree is recommended
for my current position, so this program is helping me achieve that and
covering most of the cost," Hill says.
The Salina Regional Health
Foundation also supports continuing
education through its Program for
Access to Continuing Education.
Employees can access $500 in scholarship funding per year to attend continuing education programs.


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Health Direct - Summer 2019

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